Crew chief shakeup at Stewart-Haas Racing

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 04: Clint Bowyer and Blake Shelton pose for a photo prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Burnouts on Broadway on December 04, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Champion’s Week brought news of a crew chief shakeup at Stewart-Haas Racing. Johnny Klausmeier will move from Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Ford to Clint Bowyer’s No. 14, as Mike Bugarewicz moves from Bowyer’s car to Almiorla’s.

With Mike Shiplett moving up with rookie driver Cole Custer from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Billy Scott, Daniel Suarez’s crew chief this year, is the odd man out at SHR. Suarez is still seeking a ride for the 2020 season.

Both Almirola and Bowyer qualified for the Playoffs this year, but neither driver won a race during the season.

“Well, I think it really just goes back to trying to be better, just trying to make the whole organization better… quite honestly, to get everybody to step up to the level of that No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) team within our four walls,” Almirola said of the personnel changes.

“They (SHR management) felt like it would be a good move to shake things up between the 14 and the 10 teams—create a new dynamic and see if that sparks some better performance.”

Bowyer agreed that goal of the moves is to find a spark.

“Success is in the people,” Bowyer said. “It’s still hard to find that chemistry. As long as I’ve been doing it, it’s all about chemistry and finding the right people and the right match to find the success on a consistent basis.

“Sometimes we’re too much the same. When I get fired up, he’s fired up. You need a little bit of that ‘opposites attract’ deal. It’s like a marriage. If you’re the same, usually sparks will fly. Eventually, one thing will lead to another and one of you is headed out.

“It never got to that,” Bowyer added, but neither team got to Victory Lane either.